Goldman Sachs provoked a furious reaction in
Westminster after it emerged that the U.S. investment bank was mulling a plan to delay
bonus payments to take advantage of the imminent cut to the top rate of
tax, according to a CNBC report. John Mann, a member of the
Treasury select committee, criticized an "opportunistic money grab"
by banks at a time of intensifying public anger against the sector.
Some 10 banks had previously considered delaying bonuses until the top rate falls from 50 to 45 pence - although most have since concluded that this would be damaging.
The Goldman plan relates to bonuses for performance in 2009, 2010 and 2011. People close to the situation said the political backlash did not stop the bank from considering the move. Goldman's approach mirrors its recent decision in the U.S. to release bonuses to staff on December 31, hours before Congress voted to increase taxes for anyone earning more than $400,000 a year as part of the fiscal cliff deal..
Joris Luyendijk, anthropologist and journalist at the Guardian discusses the social behavior of bankers and suggests that they are a form of 'tribe' and bonuses are the 'totem pole they dance around'….